Buying and selling houses is really easy – not.


Surely it can’t be that difficult

And so my little house in Chadderton went on the market ………just at the time of the housing market slump.  But then, I suppose it works both ways, as a seller and a buyer, so maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. I got an offer – excellent.  I put an offer on the post office and it was accepted – excellent.  It’s easy this house buying lark.

Two weeks later the sale on my house fell through.  It was January – “Don’t worry”  the estate agent said,  “the market will pick up in the summer”.  “THE SUMMER!”  I couldn’t wait for the summer!  Anyway summer came and then autumn and then winter.

The Housebuying File
Solicitors letters, reports, insurance indemnities, more reports (on Coal and Brine, why do I need that?), letters saying “Yes” and then letters saying “Computer says No”, more reports “because the last reports you had done are now out of date”.

After nearly a year on the market my little house sold – for a lot less than I needed.      In the meantime I’d discovered that, because the Post Office was a commercial property, I needed a commercial mortgage and this was virtually impossible to get for the small amount of money I needed.  My buyer wanted to exchange at the  beginning of November and the money coming from my Mum would be available in December.  HELP!   And help I got.  In the form of my lovely friend Judith.  “Put all your things in storage and come and stay with me” she said.  So furniture and books and paintings and books and the piano and more books and everything but the kitchen sink went into storage (everything, that is, except the cats but that’s another story) and I went to stay with Judith.

The Post Office was still for sale, my renewed offer had been accepted and there were three weeks to wait before my money came through.  They were probably the longest three weeks of my life.  What if a mystery buyer were to walk into the estate agent and produce a large wad of cash and buy my Post Office?  I would be homeless!  With a sigh of relief in early in December I put together the equity from my house, the money my Mum had left me, a large overdraft and a few quid that I’d found down the back of the sofa and bought the Post Office for cash.  Phew!

It was three weeks before Christmas, I sat in my big old house with a 30 yr old gas boiler, the wind whistling through the rotting windows, an avocado coloured bathroom suite with lime green tiles, no carpets anywhere in the house and not a penny to spend on it.

You have no idea how happy I was.


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